This could be an important day for labor in Spain, as the strike is about mobilizing the country to highlight some of the "reforms" by the new government which may make strikes more difficult. The unemployment numbers in Spain continue to be painfully high and now the new austerity plan is likely to make the conditions even worse. On top of that, Citi analystssee problems ahead in the Spanish banking market that is overloaded with loans for a crumbling real estate market.
Spain’s unemployment rate rose to 22.9 percent, the highest in 15 years, increasing pressure on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to change labor rules and deliver on his election pledge to create jobs in a shrinking economy. The unemployment rate rose in the fourth quarter from 21.5 percent in the previous three months, the National Statistics Institute in Madrid said today. That’s more than twice the euro- region average and exceeds the median estimate of 22.2 percent in a Bloomberg survey of seven analysts. Spain is home to a third of the euro region’s unemployed, according to the European Union’s statistics office, which estimates that half of young Spaniards are out of work. The People’s Party government, which won the Nov. 20 election after a campaign focused on jobs, has promised to overhaul labor and wage rules in the next two weeks to prompt companies to hire.